If you have decided to have a live band play at your reception, there are some things to keep in mind when choosing your band. Music is a vital part of any wedding reception; it's what gets the party going, gets people on the dance floor, and keeps the party going all night long.
Photo Credit: Byrdgrass
When considering a live band and the music that they will provide at your reception, keep in mind that the music played should appeal to a wide audience. This is kind of tricky because everyone's taste in music is different. Consider having the band play a wide variety of styles or stick to one that will appeal to pretty much everyone. It's really about keeping everyone on the dance floor anyway, right? Even though different types of music suit different people, you still want your guests to have a good time. If you're having trouble picking a style of music, just keep that in mind. How many of your guests would be on the dance floor if your band played the music of a certain genre or this particular song you really like?
If you're still having trouble deciding on the type of music you want at your reception, consider music that fits with your theme, and look for bands that play that style of music.
Before you hire a band, do your homework. Just like you most likely flipped through bridal magazines and spent hours on Pinterest or the websites of local bridal boutiques to figure out what styles of dresses you liked before going wedding dress shopping, it's not a bad idea to do something similar when it comes to your band. Get recommendations, read reviews, and- most importantly- consider visiting a venue where the band is playing to hear what they sound like live and how they interact with the audience.
Keep in mind that there should be a contract. This will make everything related to your event clear- from the time, date, and location of your ceremony to what style of clothing the band is expected to wear and how much you will be paying them- and you will have it all in writing if something doesn't go according to plan. Additionally, make sure you lay out with your band what will happen if something doesn't go according to plan. Your band may be full of the best, most reliable people in the world who would never dream of simply not turning up to an event that they're being paid to be present at, but they are people too and they get stuck in traffic and are involved in unfortunate accidents just like the rest of us. Does your band have a backup plan? If the lead singer is stuck in traffic, is there someone else who steps in for him or do you just have to go the night without a lead singer? If the guitarist breaks his hand trying to make repairs to his back deck, is there a replacement for him? Will the band handle any situations as they arise, or will someone be expected to step in and, say, call in reinforcements? All of this should be discussed and laid out in the contract.
When picking a live band, you should ask about their abilities and what they are willing- or not willing- to play. If you are looking for a band that plays country music, for instance, a band that specializes mostly in the music of artists like Bruce Springsteen probably isn't what you're looking for. There are also bands who simply refuse to play stereotypical wedding staples like the Macarena and the Chicken Dance; while that's great if you are looking to stay as far away from music like that as possible, it's something to keep in mind if that's the sort of music you're relying on to get your guests on the dance floor.
Finally, if there is anything you are unsure about, just ask! Your New Jersey band is trying to make sure you have the best night possible. If you have any questions, it's better to find out than to guess.